Regional and Community Development
Courses and related research in Regional and Community Development (RCD) offers students a Ph.D. degree program founded on the premise that strong theory and research are the basis for solving problems related to the social, economic, and political development of localities worldwide. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in this sub-field work in the areas of urban studies, rural development, migration studies, communications research, urban design, the political economy of social networks, and global-local interconnections.
Understanding the current dynamics of community development requires the analysis of the networks of social practice that interact in the social construction of place. The networks are both local and extra-local in scope, linking local social actors to wider social fields like state- and non-governmentally based organizations, corporate business networks, and transnational migrant networks. Investigating networks requires innovative approaches to theoretically driven research seeking to: (a) map the social organizations involved in the politics of community development and the ties connecting them; (b) comprehend the multiple contexts in which interacting networks are produced and changed; (c) grasp normative structures guiding these interactions; and, (d) assess changing patterns of community development resulting from cooperation and conflict.
Faculty teaching and advising students in Regional and Community Development are based in the Community Studies and Development Unit of the Department of Human and Community Development at UC Davis and it also includes a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Community Development Graduate Group (CDGG) and the GGG.
Graduates of the doctoral program who focus on Regional and Community Development will be prepared to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in community development; (2) serve as teaching and research faculty in related departments such as urban design, city planning, rural development, communications, and other applied social sciences; (3) serve as researchers and problem-focused analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (4) assume leading positions in agencies engaged in issues of community development at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international scales.